14 Famous Dutch Cyclists: A Look At The Legends

Famous dutch cyclists

These famous Dutch cyclists have left their mark on cycling history, showcasing the prowess of Dutch cyclists in the world’s most prestigious cycling competitions.

The Netherlands has produced many exceptional cyclists who have left their mark on the sport. These Dutch athletes are known not only for their extraordinary abilities on the bike but also for their contributions to cycling’s advancement and popularity. Their achievements have garnered international attention and have inspired a new generation of Dutch cyclists to follow in their footsteps.

Legendary athletes such as Joop Zoetemak and Tom Dumoulin, among others, have created a legacy for Dutch cycling that not only reflects their dedication to the sport but also highlights the Netherlands’ rich history of producing gifted and hardworking cyclists.

Early Pioneers

1. Gerrit Schulte

Gerrit Schulte, born in 1916 in Amsterdam, was a prolific Dutch cyclist who made immense strides in the world of professional cycling. His career spanned several years, and during that time, he became known for his extraordinary resilience, tenacity, and skills in various disciplines.

Schulte’s achievements did not go unnoticed, as he was awarded the prestigious Dutch Cyclist of the Century title in 1999. This accolade served as a testament to his immense impact on the sport and Dutch cycling history. His legacy includes a multitude of victories and achievements, such as multiple Dutch National Road Race Championships titles and several track cycling records.

2. Jan Janssen

Famous dutch cyclists
Overall winner in 1968, two stage wins in 1964 and 1967

Born in Nootdorp, South Holland, in 1940, Jan Janssen is a former professional Dutch cyclist who had a career spanning from 1962 to 1972. He holds the distinction of being the first Dutch rider to win the prestigious Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. Known for his consistently strong performance, Janssen participated in the Tour de France eight times, finishing all but his first attempt.

Janssen’s career highlights include:

  • Tour de France: Overall winner in 1968, two stage wins in 1964 and 1967.
  • Vuelta a España: Overall winner in 1967, nine stage wins from 1963 to 1967.
  • World Championships: World Champion in 1964.

3. Joop Zoetemelk

Another celebrated Dutch cyclist, Joop Zoetemelk, was born in The Hague in 1946. He had an impressive career that lasted from 1969 to 1987, during which he secured both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España titles. Zoetemelk held the record for the most Tour de France finishes when he retired, having completed the race 16 times, and is known for his remarkable resilience and determination.

Some notable achievements of Zoetemelk’s career are:

  • Tour de France: Overall winner in 1980, twelve-stage victories, six-time runner-up.
  • Vuelta a España: Overall winner in 1979, two-time runner-up.
  • World Championships: World Champion in 1985.

Tour De France Legends

4. Hennie Kuiper

Hennie Kuiper is a renowned Dutch cyclist born on February 3, 1949. He is well-known for his all-around cycling skills, allowing him to excel in different terrains and competitions. 

Kuiper partook in the Tour de France on 12 occasions, where he won three individual stages and two team time trials. His career highlights include winning the goal in the 1972 Olympic road race.

5. Peter Winnen

Peter Winnen
Winnen was a skilled climber, which led him to achieve remarkable success in the mountainous stages of the Tour de France

Another prominent Dutch cyclist, Peter Winnen, was born in Ysselsteyn in 1957. Winnen was a skilled climber, which led him to achieve remarkable success in the mountainous stages of the Tour de France. He won three mountain stages in the Tour, two in 1981 and one in 1983. These victories helped him secure strong overall standings, such as finishing 4th in the 1983 Tour de France and 5th in 1981.

6. Erik Breukink

Erik Breukink, born in Rheden in 1964, is a former Dutch professional cyclist. Competing in the Tour de France multiple times, he showcased his strong time-trialing capabilities and climbing skills. Breukink’s Tour achievements consist of the following:

  • Winning three individual stages, one in 1987 and two in 1989.
  • Earning the Young Rider Classification (white jersey) in 1987.
  • Securing a third-place finish in the overall general classification in the 1990 Tour de France.

Track Cycling Stars

7. Theo Bos

Theo Bos, born in Hierden in 1983, is an accomplished Dutch track cyclist. Throughout his career, he has won numerous medals at the World Track Championships. He was a dominant force in the sprint, keirin, and team sprint events.

In addition to his impressive track cycling career, Bos also spent a few years as a professional road cyclist. He has since retired and is coaching the Chinese national track team.  

8. Teun Mulder

Teun Mulder, born in Zuuk in 1981, is another standout Dutch track cyclist. Specializing in the sprint and keirin events, Mulder has displayed strong performances in international competitions. He won the gold medal in the keirin at the 2005 UCI Track Cycling World Championships and earned the bronze medal in the same event at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

9. Jeffrey Hoogland

Jeffrey Hoogland, born in Nijverdal in 1993, is a talented Dutch track cyclist who has shown great prowess in sprint and team sprint events. His achievements include winning four gold medals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships and claiming the silver medal in the team sprint at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. Hoogland remains an active competitor and continues to achieve success on the international stage.

10. Kirsten Wild

Kirsten Wild
Wild’s versatility and skills make her a force to be reckoned with on the track

Kirsten Wild, born in Almelo in 1982, is a prominent Dutch track cyclist who excels in various track cycling events. Notably, she has collected several medals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, including multiple golds in the omnium and scratch race events. 

Wild’s versatility and skills make her a force to be reckoned with on the track. Beyond her achievements in track cycling, Wild has also enjoyed considerable success as a road cyclist, winning numerous races and stage events. Check out our guide on famous Ironman triathletes

Recent Road Racing Standouts

11. Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin is a talented Dutch cyclist known for his time-trial and climbing abilities. In 2017, he became the first Dutch rider to win the Giro d’Italia, showcasing his impressive skills and strong determination. Dumoulin’s other accomplishments include a World Time Trial Championship title in 2017 and a silver medal in the individual time trial at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

12. Dylan Groenewegen

Dylan Groenewegen is a proficient sprinter and one of the most promising young talents in Dutch cycling. He has achieved numerous top-place finishes in renowned races such as the Tour de France. Notably, Groenewegen won the final stage of the 2017 Tour de France, beating world-class sprinters and cementing his reputation as a force to be reckoned with in mass sprints.

13. Mathieu Van Der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel is a multi-disciplined cyclist who excels in road racing, cyclocross, and mountain biking. His impressive versatility has secured him victories in prestigious races, including three World Championship titles and multiple national championships in cyclocross. On the road, Van der Poel regularly wins races, including stage wins in the Tour de Suisse, Tour of Britain, and Amstel Gold Race, displaying his exceptional power and tactical intelligence.

14. Annemiek Van Vleuten

Annemiek van Vleuten is an accomplished Dutch cyclist with numerous accolades to her name. Her impressive list of achievements includes a time trial World Championship title in 2017, the 2019 Road World Championship, and multiple victories in the Giro Rosa. 

Van Vleuten is also an Olympic medalist, having won silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics time trial and a bronze in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics road race. If you liked this post, you might also be interested in learning about famous track cyclists

This article was researched with the help of OpenAI and fact-checked and edited by our human editor.